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could home education be right for us ?

(22 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Sat 03-Oct-09 21:45:43

Hi, my daughter is 4.5 and at the moment goes to a lovely little school which is unfortunatly private. We can't afford to keep her there much longer so I'm looking at all options.
She has a severe speech disorder and slightly delayed development and lack of bowel control which she is being assessed for.
Our local primary school has a unit for SED's. I don't want her going in the unit as I think she's likely to go down hill, although I think she'd need support in class.
She will get away with what little she can eg- she'll wait for someone else to do a task that she can do herself. They are very firm with her where she is as they want to boost her independance and confidence.
So basically I think she'll need a rocket up her backside in order to make progress. grin
She is a very sociable little girl, but not in big groups.
I feel as if I'd really enjoy the challenge of home ed and it would give her the one to one attention she'll need. We have a very close relationship and she's very eager to please.
I am a bit worried about what thee new children will make of her speech disorder and the fact that she soils herself often. She is very sensitive although she comes accross as being very lively.
What do you think ?

mummyloveslucy Sat 03-Oct-09 21:58:47

I would like to follow the curriculum or have some guide lines to make sure all is being covered.

mummyloveslucy Sat 03-Oct-09 22:13:08

anyone ? sad

2kidzandi Sat 03-Oct-09 22:43:08

Hello mummyloveslucy!

I HE. two DS's 7 and 10. I certainly think H.E could work for you and your DD. For myself personally, I would say it's one of the best decisions I have made as a parent. It is a big commitment and requires patience but I guess you know that already! It is tremendously rewarding however and the benefits in my opinion far outweigh the sacrifices, however I agree that the best person to help your DD develop her confidence (and give her the kick she needs smile) is you.

However most HEers tend to hang out on the Home Ed thread. So why not pop over and post your question there? You'll get more replies from HEers who have been in similar circumstances to yours and more replies!

But I think its a great idea and recommend the books suggested on this thread to start with.

mimsum Sat 03-Oct-09 22:48:04

I thought you really liked the state primary?? I'm positive that at one point you were really keen on the idea .. hmm

I think several posters have pointed out several times that keeping your dd at the private school may well not be the best thing for her even if finances weren't an issue. She needs specialist input which you're extremely unlikely to be able to access in the private sector, and even if you could you'd probably end up paying extra for it.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but haven't you at some point also said you have dyslexia? If you did go down the home ed route I'd have thought you might need to look into outside literacy tutoring for your dd.

Your dd is still very little. Fwiw, my ds2 started reception frequently soiling himself - as far as I know none of the other children ever noticed. He also flaps when excited and can be quite eccentric, but the other children just accept that as part of who he is - they've known him since they were all 3 and 4. My dd has a little boy in her class who is completely non-verbal, and no-one bats an eyelid, so I wouldn't neccessarily worry about the other children especially at this age. How do the other children in her current class react to her?

LIZS Sun 04-Oct-09 13:00:29

agree with mimsmum . You should give the state school a chance, particualrly as the current nursery is not typical or sympathetic to her needs and you have admitted previously you didn't have the best of experiences at school yourself, which may colour your preconceptions and worries. Meet the SENCO at the new school and discuss what support they will put in place - presumably with an IEP and on School Action plus as a starting point. She may well not be included in the specialist unit itself (unlikely without a full statement) but still have the benefit of one to one or small group work outside the classroom, or even within, with someone who has experience of speech and language disorders. The staff will be used to teaching children with all sorts of problems and should work with you and the specialists to minimise any negative reactions and help her progress. The company and competition of other child could well keep her on her toes.

HE isn't purely about the one to one attention and academics, you'd need to build in the same opportunities as those at school have, including socially and finding the support of those with more experience fo teaching a child with such difficulties. Maybe you should think about volunteering ina classroom to get a feel for what is on offer at the school and involved should you later decide to HE.

mummyloveslucy Sun 04-Oct-09 17:14:49

Thanks everyone. I did like the school as it has a nice atmosphere but I worry she'll be put in the SEN's unit where there are children more behind than her and she'll follow suit. I also worry that in a normal class of 34, she won't get the attention she'll need. I know they have a classroom assistant but they will be helping everyone else as well as Lucy.
I am probubly pre empting problems before they arise and I'd be willing to give it a go. I would be very willing to help out in the class and get an idea of what they do.
I like the idea of home ed as to be honest, I don't want to let her go. I have to do what's best for her, so I'll give the school a try and if she goes down hill then home ed would be an option.
Thanks again. smile

mummyloveslucy Sun 04-Oct-09 17:26:15

mimsmum- I do have dyslexia but I have overcome it quite well. I went on to do quite well at A level. If Lucy has the same problems I had, then I'd know the best ways to help her.
It might be different at secondary level though. grin

asdx2 Tue 06-Oct-09 12:38:03

Personally I'd be requesting a formal assessment of Lucy's SEN with a view to getting a statement in place.
I'd be looking at speech and language units probably in preference to more general SEN units and getting private assessments done by independent SALT and ed psych and I'd be in touch with IPSEA to get them to help you through the process of securing a statement that will ensure an education tailored to Lucy's individual needs.
Incidentally you do know about DLA enhanced tax credits etc don't you? If not find out more and put it towards your tribunal fund should you need to go there.

gladders Tue 06-Oct-09 13:57:02

am an occasional poster on here - and non offence but you seem to be posting a different plan every few weeks?

if you like the primary school then give it a go? if it doesn't work out then think again.

don't overthink these decisions (seem to remember you also posted about what would you do if next child was a ds yuor dc was at an all girls school.... and you weren't even pregnant?) -you're tying yourself in knots

mummyloveslucy Wed 07-Oct-09 09:45:24

She is being assessed at the moment by a team of speech therapists, an occupational therapist, an educational psycologist and a physio therapist. She will also have to have blood and urine samples taken. Not sure why, but they are doing all they can to find the cause. I haven't heard about inharnced tax creddits.
I'm not really keen on the idea of statementing, as I think there might be a stigma attached. She is quite bright in a lot of ways and I want her to reach her full potential and not be written off.

gladders- the post you mentioned seems so long ago. There is now no chance of us having another baby so that's not even an issue now.
I never was a worrier and I never really cared a great deal about anything until I had my daughter. I suppose I worry because she is the most precious thing in my life and I don't want her to go through what I did at school.
She is an incredibly loving and caring child who is also quite sensitive. I just don't want her to change.
It just feels wrong that I haven't met the children in her class, I don't know what her teacher will be like and I'm ment to hand her over in January.
If she was my 6th child I doubt I'd feel the same. grin
I know what I'm like, but I can't help it. blush I never imagined that having a child would change me so much.

Runoutofideas Wed 07-Oct-09 10:04:27

If she was statemented, this wouldn't stop her from achieving her full potential, it would in fact help her to get there by giving her help with the bits she struggles with. I really don't believe there is a stigma attached any more as so many children have varying degrees of help with all sorts of problems. If she were my child I'd be pushing for the statement to get her the help she needs. Good luck.

Runoutofideas Wed 07-Oct-09 10:06:52

Sorry just realised I didn't really answer your original question. Personally I think it would be very hard to teach the social skills which come from learning and playing in a large group if you home ed. Not impossible, but more difficult. I'd definitely try the local school first and see how she gets on.

mummyloveslucy Wed 07-Oct-09 10:17:48

Thanks Runoutofideas- I will look in to it and talk to the assessment team about it. If it would help her then we'll go for it. If she makes enough progress though, I'd want it to be withdrawn.
The social side to schooling would be tricky to fulfill at home. She does go to Stagecoach every saturday which helps her and she has made friends there. I feel that this won't be enough though, so I'd have to look at other ideas if I decide to home educate.

cory Wed 07-Oct-09 11:35:35

There is no doubt that many home educators do manage to provide a very good social life for their children. But what it does mean is that you have to do the work- at least during the early years- rather than sitting back with a cup of coffee while it is all happening at school. If you yourself are sociable, energetic, fairly confident and have transport, then I don't suppose it has to be a problem.

I would perhaps be inclined to give this other school a chance though. Dd has various problems including incontinence and intermittent inability to weight bear (so she can jog around one minute and not walk the next)- exactly the kind of things that you would think would lay a child open to bullying (certainly would have done in my day!)- but she's never had a problem. Partly because she is the kind of person who does get away with things, but mainly because the (local state) schools she has attended have been very strict on bullying.

I don't think there is a stigma attached to being statemented these days. Would have liked ds to be statemented, but our LEA does not statement for learning difficulties caused by physical disability so that won't happen.

cory Wed 07-Oct-09 11:58:36

Thinking a little more- it does sound as if the other posters have a point and you are quite anxious, as if having a dd with SN has really hit you for six (and yes, I know the feeling).

This might be an argument against HE, depending on how well you are able to overcome that anxiety. I know that at times when I have been very stressed, dd and I have actually benefitted from spending time apart. Our mutual stress levels were feeding off each other. It was almost restful for her to go off for a few hours to a world where nobody particularly cared about her or would ever be reduced to tears because of her. Just a thought- all families are different.

asdx2 Wed 07-Oct-09 13:21:53

You really need to post on the special needs board to get advice from people who have been there done that (as I have) but in a nutshell you can contact DWP for a form to claim DLA if your child needs more care than the average child. As dd has speech and development difficulties then no doubt she requires more care. DLA once awarded is then a passport to other benefits. Once you inform the Inland Revenue you will qualify for an increases in child tax credits and if you aren't working even if your husband is you will be able to claim Carers Allowance. This money could then pay for regular private speech therapy sessions as nhs services are pretty stretched and thin on the ground.
Now for statementing, there is no stigma, schools actually welcome them because it means they have the funds and resources to provide an education to meet a child's needs. Having a statement doesn't mean a child is written of it means that a parent has secured a legal document ensuring that a child's needs are met. My Lucy has a statement and is the most academically able child in her year. I will fight year on year to keep it because it ensures 1 to 1 support when she needs it, it ensures that she is regularly reassessed and new targets issued and down the line it ensures that she gets a place in the school best suited to her needs which will probably be the over subscribed outstanding school (statemented children are a priority)
I feel for you because it's hard sending your little one out into school anyway but when they have additional needs it's even harder. Don't feel though that you have to keep her at home rather than accept second best, a statement could ensure the best and I think of school as a preparation for the real world. best to experience life with their peers at a younger age than have it thrust on her at twelve say when you don't feel that you can meet her needs.

2kidzandi Wed 07-Oct-09 16:36:00

There seems to be some misconception here that Home educating means that children have less opportunities to learn the social skills necessary to get along in the real world. Perhaps it is the word 'Home' that gives this impression and, granted, it could be difficult if one lives far away in a very rural setting - But the fact is that most home ed children spend vast amounts of time out and about the 'real world'in museums, galleries, theatres, shops, forests, playgroups, restaurants etc learning first-hand the skills they will need to live sucessfully as adults.

I am not a social bee, but can honestly say my children have discovered more about the real world since we've been home edding. Their social skills have improved precisely because there a large number of parents who HE children with SEN and my children have learnt how to be more understanding and thoughtful of others,consequently.

So please don't let the idea that by home edding your daughter she'll have less chance to gain social skills and make friends put you off the idea. As with anything you get out what you choose to put in. Just thought I'd clear that up.

If she gets on at the school and it meets her needs go for it. If you choose to Home ed go for it. Neither decision need be set in stone anyway.

asdx2 Wed 07-Oct-09 17:01:08

I think if a parent chooses to home ed because that is their first choice than that decision is the right one. But I don't think a parent should have to choose to home ed simply because she is afraid that a child's SEN might not be met in a school placement which is what I gathered was bothering OP. I would always urge a parent to secure a statement if that is their concern.
FWIW my ds would most likely have preferred to be home ed because of the autism. But it wouldn't have been the best for him. The best for him was a statement ensuring specialist provision which is what he's got. I wouldn't have been able to access the specialist support had I home ed as these resources are in school resources.That is why I urged the op to look at statementing and specialist speech and language resources where a child would recieve daily therapy not because I believe home ed is second rate but because such resources would be unobtainable to home ed children. Yes OP's daughter would still get speech therapy through the NHS but at best it would be once a fortnight and probably not more than once a month.

mummyloveslucy Thu 08-Oct-09 09:10:56

Thanks everyone. smile She is having NHS speech therapy once a week in a group of about 5. She has been working on just one sound for 12 months and can only do it when reminded. It still takes a lot of effort and she has to really think about it.
We do lead a very relaxed stress free life at home (usually) and I just vent my concernes on here. It must seem as if I'm a lot more anxious than I am as that's the only part of me that mumsnet sees. grin I am just trying to weigh up every option in order to make the best choice for my daughter.

cory Thu 08-Oct-09 10:08:38

2kizandi, I did go to special pains to mention that socialising need not be a problem with HE, but that you as a parent would need to do things (get your child to places where she can meet other children etc) which you could otherwise sit back and let the school do

I do not have misconceptions- I have looked into the question carefully as I have a dd with SN who used to struggle at school

and I found that there are no children being HE'ed in the vicinity; as I do not drive, it would be difficult for me to take her to meetings

this is not denying that she could have had a wonderful time if we had been closer to other HE'ers or if I had been able to take her places

not everybody lives close to a wide array of theatres, galleries, museums, forests etc- or has the money to travel regularly to those places

2kidzandi Thu 08-Oct-09 10:38:37

That's true cory, and actually I completely agreed with you when you said: "you have to do the work- at least during the early years- rather than sitting back with a cup of coffee while it is all happening at school." Home ed does require effort.

Sorry if I appeared to be reacting to your post. I rather tend to enjoy yours! <even if I occasionally disagree wink>

I was just trying to allay OP anxieties.

And taking out my
frustration of
the awful,wet
glum weather

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